Uttar Pradesh Urban Development and Minority Affairs Minister Azam Khan has cited the demolition of the disputed Babri mosque structure in Ayodhya as the reason for terrorism in India.
The senior Samajawadi Party (SP) leader commented about the Dec 6, 1992, demolition of the mosque at an election rally in Faizabad city Sunday.
Khan said no one had ever heard of AK-47, RDX and terrorism until the unfortunate incident in Ayodhya. "It is this act of the communal forces that the country continues to suffer from after two decades," said Khan, a close associate of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Blaming "fascist forces" like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for handing over bombs and guns to the innocent people, Khan said the "seeds of hatred between Hindus and Muslims were sown after the incident".
Reacting to Khan's comments, BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said nothing better was expected from the minister. "In the last two years, Khan has been a perpetual headache for his own party."